Mortisers

Folks -
I'm looking at getting two new tools - a mortiser and a dado set. I've been looking at Freuds Dial Dado SD608 as well as mortising machines. Do y'all have any recommendations for or "agin" any particular dado sets and MM's?
Thanks in advance!
John Moorhead
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"John Moorhead" wrote in message

It would help to know what kind of woodworking you do with regard to the mortiser. If you're looking for a benchtop model for under $US300, you will find proponents for the Delta, Jet, or Shop Fox ... and you won't go wrong with either one.
Best bet is to go somewhere that has them in stock so you can take a closer look and suit your own preferences.
That said, I use a Delta 14-651 on a regular basis and would buy it again.
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Swingman -
The mortises would be in hardwoods - oak, cherry... I find myself getting more work for Mission style furniture and want something to speed things up. Brian L mentioned a Delta 661 that had a sliding table, which would be great, but I can't find anything out about that machine at all. Any ideas?
John

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Something to keep in mind also John, you should sharpen the square chisels before use for the best results. This makes a world of difference in the ease of cutting. You can get a cone shaped stone for your drill at LeeValley, and don't forget to polish the outsides of the chisel also.
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Stylewise, that's pretty much what I do with one. Only gotcha with the Delta (and probably the other benchtops as well) is pieces over 4 1/2" wide need to have the included riser installed, whence you lose the _convenient_ use of the hold down and fence. I've learned to design my table legs, and aprons that need slats, to 4" or less.
The riser is not all that hard to install, but you will feel, and look, more like a mechanic than a woodworker each time you do .
Trick to the benchtop models is going easy, with _sharp_ chisels and drills ... by taking my time and keeping the chisels sharp, I never have trouble with 1/2" mortises in white oak, and I do a _lot_ of mortises in a months time.
I am not familiar with the Delta model you are referring to ... but would bet it is a standalone model. Powermatic has a good one also ... these are much better _mortise_ machines, but were I going to spend that much money for something dedicated to one task in a small shop, I would take a HARD look at the Leigh FMT jig, for a good deal more precision on _both_ ends of the joint.
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When I wrote about the large Delta Mortiser, I went to the Delta web site to grab the unit's number, and came up empty also. I called my buddy's store and got the number off him - 14-660
When I went back to the Delta site using this ID number, all I could find was a picture of the machine's french user manual!! I just tried now and all I can find is the breakaway parts drawing:
http://media.ptg-online.com/media/dm/PartsLists/20040401121338_DP30.pdf
I don't know what Delta's problem is, but I know my buddy's store has 6 sitting there (awaiting the cabinet base piece from Delta).
If you're interested, when I there Thursday I can take a pic and email it to you. You can email me at snipped-for-privacy@sympatnospamxic.ca
(just take out the nospams, and the x)
Brian

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Here's the link to the french manual.
http://media.ptg-online.com/media/dm/OwnersManuals/20031127151333_Fr%201235800%20-%2001-30-02.pdf.pdf
Brian

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John Moorhead wrote:

Since you seem to be making things for sale I'm assuming you do this for a living or at least to pay for your addiction - make that hobby/avocation. The 25-400 bench tops work but have shortcomings which, if you do mortises fairly regularly, will frustrate the hell out of you after a while.
An XY table with good and easily set left/right stops, an adjustable stock stop, a good hold down and hold against the fence system, a beefy mechanism for moving the chisel/bit up and down without any slop or flexing, two or more chisel collars to accomodate chisel/bits of different sizes/manufacturers, a lever arm that has multiple postion options and "low speed" (1725 vs 3540 rpms) are all things to look for.
You have to get the fence to parallel the back face of the chisel and keep it there. The easier this is to do the better.
You have to be able to align the chisel to three layout lines, - the left end, the right end and either the front or back of the mortise. Anything that makes that accurate, easier and quicker will pay for itself.
You have to be able to hold the stock firmly in place and keep it there 'til you want to remove it. You will get chisel stuck.
Here's some stuff on the General International 75-075M and the PowerMatic 719A that may give you a better idea of what would be nice to have. Be aware that both units are about $800 US. http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/MortisersComparison.html
Here's more about The General http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/Mortiser.html
Be aware that there's more than one way to skin a cat and more ways than you can shake a stick at to cut mortises. I've got a horizontal boring machinemortiser on my Robland X31 combination machine, The General and just finished up a loose tenon mortising jig that uses a plunge router. Each does something better or easier than the other.
Good luck on deciding what you want and what you're willing to spend to get it.
charlie b
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The current Wood magazine has a review of mortisers.
They chose the Delta Industrial as the Top Value and the General as the Top Tool.
I have the Delta and love it. I got a great deal on it from Coastal Tool.
Rob

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